Castelli's isn't a name that we're used to associating with any tier but premium, so when the Italian manufacturer starts tossing around the "workhorse" label, it gets our attention. The Volo Bib Shorts are billed as utility race shorts. In terms of real-world hierarchy, this means that they fall somewhere between the Endurance X2s (made for — you guessed it — endurance riding) and the Free Aero Races, which have become one of our most beloved shorts over the past few years. Since the Volos are both compressive and aerodynamic, we can only assume that the workhorse racer label refers to their durability — a valued quality for those who likes their shorts to last longer than one race.
The legs are a blend of Affinity Lycra and Affinity BLC fabrics, both of which increase the shorts' affinity for keeping you comfortable and warding off fatigue with their high stretch on the inner thighs, aerodynamic texturing on the outer thigh, and gentle compression throughout. And unlike many other offerings that share a tier with the Volo Bib Shorts, the Affinity legs are finished with Castelli's Giro Air leg band. This wide swath of material keeps the fit secure without resorting to the usual tricks: pinching elastic inserts and silicone grip print that wears off in the laundry.
The shorts are finished with a KISS Air chamois, which takes the less-is-more approach for unobtrusive, non-bulky comfort. The ischial zone gets the lion's share of dual-density padding, while the sensitive perineum is protected by a relieving channel. The padding tapers to a clean finish at the edges, eliminating seams and ridges created by sudden topographical changes. The soft, bacteriostatic cover stretches to move with your body in the saddle. The bib straps holding everything in place are made of breathable, stretchy mesh, and reflective detailing just above the leg bands in the back helps keep you visible in low-light conditions.
- Affinity Lycra and Affinity BCL fabrics
- Mesh bib straps
- Giro Air leg bands
- KISS Air Chamois
- Reflective detailing